Yesterday I went to the house to clean up and mow the jungle. As I opened the barricades in the early morning and walked past the burned out shell of my home, a large brown bird took wing from underneath the charred rafters and flew into a neighbouring tree. I stopped, stunned. I wasn't sure what I'd seen, but my heart raced faster and I slowly walked down to the back fence and looked up into the native frangipani.
Sure enough, what I'd glimpsed flying low and swiftly past the corner of my vision, was real. A Powerful Owl sat in the top branches, gazing back at me. I breathed a long slow out breath of wonder and amazement. I'd never seen a Powerful Owl before, only in pictures and here was one who had chosen my old home to roost in. As I watched her, ravens flew in from all over and proceeded to bomb her and attack her. She stood her ground and mantled at them. Currajongs also appeared and battled the branches around her. She moved from perch to perch, always in the right place for defence. She was under attack. Even the magpies joined in with the ravens and the currajongs to harry and harass her, but she did not give ground. She withstood each attack, each attempt to dislodge and run her off. And when I left at the end of the day, she was still sitting there, resolute.
Today I watched as the walls came tumbling down. As my life was torn away in great chunks by the great metal jaws of the digger as they tore my house down. It was a moment I will never forget. I have been dreading this day. Simply dreading it. And yet eager for it to be over, so I could move on.
Athena had presaged the destruction of my home. She had flown out of my house the morning before it was due to be torn down. I didn't know this at the time - I was only told yesterday afternoon of the impending demolition. So the powerful symbolism of the owl really hit me today.
In many cultures around the world, the owl is seen as the bringer of change, the announcer of death. Symbolic of course, although many primitive superstitious cultures believed in that eventuality. I see the symbolic death of a way of life. I see the Owl as presaging the end. I see her resisting all efforts to subdue or subjugate her. I see her effortlessly holding her own against attacking forces. I see her calmly sitting, waiting for night to come and for the freedom of her skies, her choice. I see the visit from Owl as a visit from the goddess Athena, a reminder that I hold all the wisdom I need in my heart and in my DNA and that I have the power to make the right choices, because I can see through all illusion. Particularly the illusions I have held to be true for so many years. The fire has stripped them away from me, one after another.
Owl tells me it is time to spread my wings and fly into the unknown, to embrace the magic and mystery of change. It brings to mind an old song I used to sing at womens lodge :
Doors I'm opening
Doors I'm closing
I am safe
It's only change
I am safe,
It's only change.
I am about to glide into the night on silent but powerful wings. As I witness the tearing down of my home, of my life, I am reminded that I am about to embark on a new journey, a new life. Thank you, Owl.
‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.’ – Bilbo Baggins